As we went to bed last night (before 10pm) after shipping the last guests off to the airport, Si commented that he couldn't understand why we were both so tired, he at least has a halfway decent excuse in that he went back to the grindstone on Monday. Personally I blame my tiredness on never being able to fully relax (as you would normally) when there are guests in the house, it doesn't matter whether they need 'entertaining' or not, you just never never feel like you can slob out in your pj's on the sofa with a bowl of crisps and a glass of white wine, you always have to be smiley...
So there you have it, my feeble excuse for my absence, I hope it's acceptable.
As my first proper blog of the new year I thought I should look back at the last one (kind of traditional isn't it?) but I shan't give you a top 5, merely a meander throughout my year - highs and lows...and not in any particular order apart from date, I'll start with January.
- for Jas it wasn't a great year healthwise, we had almost 2 weeks of some revolting viral bug that involved at least 3 trips to the doc and then in the spring she broke her arm badly enough to need it operating on and pinning, here's hoping that 2010 is healthier!
- I discovered culture and went to numerous exhibitions at the newly refurb'd Folkwang Museum in Essen, an appropriate year to be doing so I guess, seeing as 2009 was Essen's turn as 'European City of Culture' - mind you, despite the myriad of cultural events put on in this area during the last 12 months that was all I managed.
- We spent Easter in New York, an amazing holiday that we'd all love to repeat and I think the best bit for all of us was the guided bike tour of Central Park, although the shopping was pretty damn good too!
- I spent a great girlie weekend at my friend Ali's, eating, drinking and shopping, even got to the cinema, what a treat. Had thought that I wouldn't make it as that was the weekend straight after Jas had broken her arm.
- Jas's school choir performed several times in a special Kettwig concert thing over a blisteringly hot bank holiday weekend, the outlaws came over to watch.
- I got a Mini Cooper S, finally a fun car to drive, the Corolla Verso is practical and sensible but ultimately for a secret petrol head - DULL. The Cooper puts a smile on my face, although it's confined to the garage at the moment as the snow is so deep that it grounds on the middle of the road!
- I went to several performances at the Recklinghouse Arts thingummy, including The Tempest, Our Lady something and Infernal Comedy - shall have to look out for that this year, it was good fun.
- The number of expats in Kettwig grew and grew, first we 'found' Emma in Isenbugel, then Robina, then towards the end of the year, Jane and Rachel and Princie - the English speakers are taking over Kettwig!
- The Football World Cup came and went, accompanied by much drinking and bbq-ing and honking of horns.
- Simon flew around the world on business, managing to clock up 96,000 miles in the air (and that doesn't include private mileage) am currently trying to work out how big a carbon footprint that makes and how many trees he needs to plant to offset this...
- We spent a relaxing 2 weeks in Spain while my parents house and dog sat for us, this year we're going again (but only for 10 days this time, grumble, mutter, grumble) wonder if they fancy the job again?! Although last year they only just made it as mom had nearly been hospitalised with pneumonia but they hadn't told me because I'd only have worried....parents!
- My brother came for a short visit and demanded to be taken to a nudist beach so that he could swim in the lake...yeah, right, apparently it's all part of training for ironman competitions!
- My friend Jacky finally got married and I spent a very excited week helping in last minute preparations, it was a great day.
- Went to England again in the autumn half term, me and 3 kids - a crazy idea but it was kind of good fun once we got there...Cornwall is stunning given the right weather, and we had wall to wall blue skies and sunshine.
- My sister in law, Rachel finally made it to Germany to visit us, along with her family of course, it was bitterly cold that weekend at the end of November and on the Monday after they'd left it started to snow...since then we've had snow on the ground more days than not and only today, 38 days later is it starting to seriously thaw (helped by +4 and rain - never have I been so glad to see rain)
- We had our first Christmas Cocktail 'do' here, which was fun, mixing together our English and German friends, shall have to repeat it this year, especially as I now have a proper punch bowl to serve heated wine in (a clever Christmas present that one)
- And that brings me to Chrstmas itself, I feel as though I've eaten far too much of the wrong things for the last 2 weeks and I know I've certainly drunk too much. Bring on the salad.